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Utility Provider - HRA and Permitting

Business Objective

ALG was contacted by a public utility with generation capacity located in a remote, alpine location to provide permitting assistance and supporting technical analysis in the construction and operation of a replacement power plant. The project was subject to intense public scrutiny and agency oversight, and the direct involvement of the public utility’s board of directors.

Technical Approach

ALG conducted air dispersion modeling and prepared a health risk assessment (HRA) for the proposed replacement power plant to demonstrate that the project would not result in violation of any state or national ambient air quality standards for criteria pollutants. This required use of advanced pollution control systems to address hazardous air pollutants, particulate and nitrogen oxides, optimization of stack location, and accurate demand forecasts. ALG worked closely with local agency staff to agree upon acceptable modeling procedures, and then applied these agency-approved dispersion and incremental risk models to estimate ambient impacts and potential incremental health risks from project emissions. Since the proposed project location is in a complex, high altitude terrain, the modeling provided various terrain options to estimate the incremental cancer risk from the proposed replacement power plant. In close coordination with power equipment vendors, outside electric demand consultants, and pollution control vendors, our client was able to commit to the lowest achievable emission rates established for this source category, which were necessary to assure compliance with federal ambient air quality standards and local district risk guidelines.


Though careful design and commitment LAER, ALG was able to demonstrate that the maximum incremental cancer risk complied with the carcinogenic and non-carcinogenic health risks thresholds, and allowed the local district to issue Permits to Construct. This authorization was subsequently challenged to the local district hearing board, and ALG provided expert witness testimony that provided the technical basis to support the district’s decision to issue all pre-construction approvals. We continue to provide air quality consulting services to assure ongoing compliance with applicable air quality requirements.

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